Why Did the Treaty of Maastricht Mark a Milestone in Creating a Political Union?

1587 WordsJan 6, 20117 Pages
Why did the Treaty of Maastricht mark a milestone in creating a political union? The Treaty of Maastricht, formerly known as the Treaty of the European Union came at a pivotal time in European history. Eastern Europe was a victim of the collapse of Communism, which had a strong impact on the European Commission (EC) as this meant new potential markets were open which they were keen to take over (Bache, 2001:124). However, the collapse of Communism in the Soviet Union meant that there was unsettlement in the east. During the same period of time there was possibility for reunification in Germany. This was looked upon with great caution because many feared that this could cause Germany Nationalism to ignite again. Due to these events…show more content…
For instance, the European Parliament now had the ability to veto legislation. Other institutional changes saw the formation of a Committee of Regions and the Court of Justice be given the right to fine member states that were not complying with its judgments (Bieler, 2009:Lecture 4). Moreover, there were pivotal policy changes as it introduced education, public health, the environment and consumer protection, again to promote Europe’s supranational qualities. Maastricht carried on to emphasize the necessity of European integration and the head’s of government agreed that this would be achieved by a three-pillar structure. The three pillars were “the EC pillar (economic and social affairs), and the intergovernmental pillars of Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP) and Justice and Home Affairs (JHA) (Bache, 2001:124). The following diagram clearly explains each pillar and was they do: THE EUROPEAN UNION The European Community (EC)(Formerly EEC) | Common Foreign & Security Policy | Justice & Home Affairs | Common Policies and Actions (e.g., agricultural, environment, structural policy). | Common Defence WEU (Western Union | Asylum Policy | Economic and Monetary Union | All areas of Foreign and Security Policy | Control on external borders | Citzenship of the European Union | | Immigration | | | European Police Office (Europol) | Fig 18.1 The three –pillar structure (Source: adapted from

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